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Old 12-15-2012, 06:47 AM   #1
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Terminal strip


Recently I upgraded my old service to 200 amps. This required moving the location of the panel in order to meet current code. When the panel got moved the old panel was gutted and turned into a junction box so the circuits could be extended to the new panel. The circuits were all spliced with wire nuts. It was all inspected and the inspector had no problems with it. However, I think all those splices and wire nuts look like garbage and I'm not sure about all these wire nut connections standing the test of time.

Would using terminal strips be a better way to splice all those circuits? Are terminal strips commonly used in residential applications? Is there a best practice for using them like this?

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Old 12-15-2012, 06:59 AM   #2
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Terminal strip


In the breaker panel terminal strips are normally used only for neutral wires (grounded conductors) and ground wires (equipment grounding conductors).

But in a junction box it is not useful to use a terminal strip for neutrals since the neutrals for any given branch circuit may not be combined with those of any other branch circuit. Thus it would be rare for more than three neutral conductors to need to be connected together.

Properly used wire nuts do stand the test of time, but if you are really concerned, you could undo and redo all of the wire nuts every ten years. Just undoing and redoing will clean off any oxidation that might have occurred.

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Last edited by AllanJ; 12-15-2012 at 07:06 AM.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:07 AM   #3
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Terminal strip


Thanks. I'm not talking about a bus bar like you would see in a breaker panel. Rather I mean a terminal strip where each wire connection is insulated from the others. An example would be something like this. http://www.idealindustries.com/produ..._strip_562.jsp
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:23 AM   #4
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Terminal strip


That is an interesting product. I have never seen it used, and I have inspected over 200 damaged properties, so I am guessing it is pretty rare. The most common conection method I have seen for residential wiring is wire nuts, and occasionally I see Ideal or similar connectors. For heavy gage wire, I have seen split nuts used for connections. From my experience, properly installed wire nuts last at least 50 years, so while they may not look beautiful, they surely seem to work.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:34 AM   #5
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Terminal strip


I suspect terminal strips are not used in residential wiring because of the substantial cost compared to wire nuts. But they are common in electronics and industrial wiring, so I see no reason why you couldn't use one if you want to.
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Old 12-15-2012, 07:40 AM   #6
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Terminal strip


Upon further thought, maybe this would be a neater solution, but not safer. All of those connections would be exposed, creating a potential for shock or other issues when someone is working in the box. Wire nuts would of course provide insulation around the connection.
I've used terminal strips like this often for low voltage applications and I have seen where they are used in high voltage non-residential systems but it sounds like wire nuts are reliable and safer for higher voltage in the home.
Thanks for the fast responses guys.

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